Sleaze metal is making a comeback. Well, at least that’s what Buckcherry’s been trying to convince us since 1995. They’re back again with Black Butterfly, a straight-outta-Sunset double-fisted celebration of excessive f*****g and drinking like it’s 1988. Before Winger was a joke. Before Steven Tyler sang about astronauts blowing up meteors. Before Cobain came along with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and wiped all the hairspray-soaked bullshit off the rock slate in one anthemic swoop.
That being said, we put on our Respectful Journalist hats and called up Buckcherry frontman Josh Todd to find some common ground.
Josh Todd: It took us about 21 days. We got all the drums first, then we’d do guitars during the day and I’d come sing at night for a few hours a day until it was done.
CraveOnline: Did you have any particular driving motive behind the record?
Josh Todd: I mean, I’m pretty driven, and so is this band, and we just wanted a great record from beginning to end. I knew we had a lot to present after 15, because it was such a success we had to make sure it was even better this time around.
CraveOnline: You guys adhere to a certain unfiltered rock image when it comes to look, lyrical content, etc. Nikki Sixx touched on this a bit recently, but how do you reconcile the rock n’ roll lifestyle with the standard rock image that’s put out there these days? Miley f*****g Cyrus is being sold to kids as rock n roll. Avril Lavigne and the Jonas Brothers.
Josh Todd: Yeah I don’t get that. That shit is just pop. I don’t know, man. We’ve been doing rock n’ roll for about ten years now, and it’s never been mainstream. We’ve just kind of been off on our own on our own little island, doing our thing and following our dreams of building a career in music. And I think people are starting to realize that more and more after every record. We deserve the respect, and people are finally starting to see that. We keep putting out quality stuff.
CraveOnline: What do you do to survive in an industry that’s designed specifically for that model? How do you deal with the people behind this disposable machine?
Josh Todd: I spend a lot of time putting in the effort and practice for my craft. That’s what we all do in this band. Each one of us is always practicing, performing, writing songs. We care about our careers. We care about the records we put out. It means a lot to us that we have a record that you can put on and sit down and listen to from beginning to end and it’s not just based on two singles that can drive the whole record. We just hope that that’s what people get out of it.
CraveOnline: How do you apply that to illegal downloading, knowing that piracy is exactly what’s bringing down their empire?
Josh Todd: Labels are getting theirs now. I think it’s good because it really gets bands more involved in their own careers. If they can build their business and popularity on their own, that can only be a good thing. If you look at artists like Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews, they built their followings without labels. The labels came in after the fact. And that happened with us on 15. Nobody would sign us. Our manager actually had to create a label so that we could get our record sold in the states. And then everybody came in after the success of "Crazy Bitch."
CraveOnline: No amount of billboards or cellphone endorsements are going to do for you what people actually hearing "Too Drunk" will. A simple MySpace link to a song goes so much farther beyond any cross-marketing blitz trying to convince you to buy something you’ve never f*****g heard and you now associate with a product, a brand. If somebody hears that song, they’re going to know right away what you’re about. They’re going to know right off if it’s something they want.
Josh Todd: Yeah, absolutely. The internet’s been really helpful in our campaign to get the word out there, with viral videos and letting the fans dictate our singles…
CraveOnline: An awesome idea, by the way.
Josh Todd: Yeah, I think we’re all just really thankful for a second chance and that it’s all working out.
CraveOnline: You’ve been a touring band for a while now, so I’d guess it’s safe to say you’ve seen it all, pretty much. but would you say that the Cruefest experience changed you guys in any way?
Josh Todd: The Crue’s got so many hits, man. Their whole set is hits, top to bottom. They just have a ‘Go Big’ mentality, and that’s what we have, so it was really inspiring to see how well they can still put the asses in the seats and still play great live. I hope we can follow in, well, most of their footsteps. That’s the goal.